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Caste system in India

If go into our past, India has a rich cultural background comprising of different categories of people, speaking different languages, and different wearing styles and with this level of diversity we constitute the world’s second largest democracy. In every difficult times we stand with each other which shows the unity of the country and this is the quality which makes us strong. India’s freedom struggle marks the unity and integrity of the people of the country, their commitment to sacrifice their life for one common objective that was independence. The question is why independence was important to us. Why our freedom fighters sacrificed their lives. Their dreams was to create a country where equal opportunities and fair play for all the people of the country should be there. How this is to be achieved is with a responsible government and cooperation of all the people of the country.

Greatest problem which is deep rooted in our system is caste system. People differentiate on the basis of castes and some took advantage of it because of some favorable government policies and thus creating heartedness between different sections of the society and on the other side it is also gives birth to violence. Caste system IS used by political leaders to get the most advantage out of it. People vote for the candidates of their caste and they feel favored electing a person of their own caste to power and this dilutes the very essence of democracy when its real potential is misused.

Major areas of its effect are in schools, inter caste marriages, work environments etc. Dalit Children afraid of going to school, inter caste marriages are seen like a crime and marriage with a low caste girl is a sin in our country. In work environments discrimination is made on the basis of castes i.e. lower castes should do lower works only. In some areas separate water taps are for low caste people and separate for high caste. Bar on Low caste to attend functions of high caste. Article 15 of the constitution of India states that there should be no discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. It can be judged that even with constitutional provisions we are not been able to eradicate the caste effects from our society.

Those who admit to practicing untouchability belong to virtually every religious and caste group, including Muslims, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Untouchability is the most widespread among Brahmins, followed by OBCs. Among religious communities, it is the most widespread among Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, shows the survey, which was conducted in over 42,000 households across India by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and the University of Maryland, US. Untouchability is most widespread in the Hindi heartland, according to the survey. Madhya Pradesh is on top (53 per cent), followed by Himachal Pradesh (50 per cent), Chhattisgarh (48 per cent), Rajasthan and Bihar (47 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (43 per cent), and Uttarakhand (40 per cent).

To have a caste system in India holds no merits rather it should be based on some concrete mathematical rule as recently defined by honorable Supreme Court in the case of jatts quota reservation to provide equal opportunities to all lower income people. Abolishing the caste system will create a healthy atmosphere of respect for all and on the other side it will take into account those lower income people which belongs to higher castes. The creator of this world has not created the caste system. It is we who created it and we ourselves have to abolish it. Government must come up with sound reservation system on the basis of income level of people and they must put end to religion based politics. With greater role to be play by our education system and village level punchayats, it can be eradicated from the roots of our society.

-Manjinder Singh

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